Protecting Our Pain

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I know how hard it is to show up as yourself in this world. It’s almost like you’re getting pushed back into your little corner every time you try to show yourself. Feel familiar?

You share something vulnerable with someone, and they don’t respond in a way that makes you feel accepted. So, your fears are validated, and you retreat. Know anyone like that? It’s like we’re meerkats that keep trying to come up out of our holes, and then quickly return to the dark tunnel underground where it’s safe.I want to share something with you that has given me the words to write this post right now.

About a year ago, I had done a few shows back to back where I interviewed a few gay men who also happen to be drag queens. I also interviewed a recovering drug addict, a trans man, and a woman who shared her story about living with Bipolar. Someone said something to me that made me reflect a bit. “Nina, I don’t know if someone’s mentioned this before, but for a white, cis hetero woman, you seem to interview people that are nothing like you.”I thought for a while, and I couldn’t come up with an answer as to why that was. Then, I realized why. Those guests actually were VERY much “like me”. I can see why, at the surface, there seems to be more differences than similarities. But, if you look deeper – that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Ya see, NONE of us lead the same life. That’s impossible. You know what’s VERY possible, though? Experiencing similar (or even exact) emotions as other people. True, they can be caused by different things – but as humans, the one thing we DO have in common, is that we FEEL. Am I gay? Nope. Trans? Nope. A Drag Queen? Nope. Recovering addict? Nope. Do I struggle with Bipolar? Nope. But, you know what?

I DO know what it feels like to fear rejection if I vulnerably shared a part of who I was.

I DO know what it’s like to wish that a part of me would just “go away” so I didn’t have to deal with it anymore.

I DO know what it’s like to have a brain that works in a way that isn’t “typical”.

I DO know what it’s like to wear a mask for so damn long that sometimes I even forgot who I was.

Authenticity is the greatest human filter out there. When you work through the fear, the discomfort, and the vulnerability, little by little you will start to attract others who have been waiting for someone just like you to connect with. Is it easy? Fu*k no. Will everyone understand you? Nope. Will everyone stick around? Nope. Will be people judge you? Uh huh.

I know it’s scary. God, do I know it’s scary. However, I’ve learned that people can only see each other through the darkness, when at least one of them holds up a flashlight. So, just know that mine is always on. ❤

Why I Won’t Dull Myself…

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I’ve been holding onto this message since she sent it yesterday morning – still with my heart in my gut. My close friend, Emily, was recently diagnosed with cancer, and she sent this to me. So many thoughts I pulled from this, and I wanted to share one of the biggest:

Do you know how many times I get strange reactions from people when I tell them I speak about mental health and sexuality? Do you know how many people have probably unfollowed me? Blocked me? Questioned my “moral compass”? Judged me as a parent? A wife? A human? Probably a lot. 

I also hear things like, “Omg, I can’t believe you said that on social media!” Or “Aren’t you worried what other people think when they see your content?”

To the people who are uncomfortable with my level of self-acceptance and raw ‘humanness’, to the point where they judge me – it’s ok. I’m not mad. It doesn’t hurt my feelings. I will never try to make you comfortable. That’s your story to read, not mine. That’s not my mission, nor my purpose. 

My purpose in life is to create a safe space for people to uncage themselves from shame and guilt. A space where people can take off every damn mask that life has mistakingly urged them to wear. A space where people can say HERE. I. FUC*%ING. AM, and be met with open arms NO MATTER WHAT. That’s why I’m here, that’s what I do, and that’s WHO I AM. 

I focus on sexuality and mental health because that’s what we fear the most about ourselves. They are the most vulnerable parts of who we are, and what we spend our LIVES hiding from. 

The underlying message isn’t about sex and mental health. You need to understand that. It’s about RADICAL SELF ACCEPTANCE. And if you can accept the two most innately human and messiest parts of who you are, then THAT is RADICAL SELF ACCEPTANCE – something that our culture clearly tries to stifle from all angles. 

So, am I concerned about others opinions? Will I temper my crazy ass messages to this world? Absofreakinlutely NOT. As a matter of fact, I’m really ok that I make dildo jokes, masturbation references, and share my OCD story. It created space for a dear friend to open up, and she will undoubtedly save her own life because of it.

Be a rebel. Be yourself.

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It’s not “kinda” rebellious…it is INCREDIBLY rebellious in our world to be yourself. To openly discuss the sides of us that we’ve been taught to hide, seems to be some act of courage. My opinion? It should be the norm. 

Marriage can be tough, parenting can be tough, careers can be tough, money conversation can be tough, our sexuality can be tough, our mental health can be tough, our body image issues can be tough. The list goes on…

So many of us are lost in the ideal that we’re completely neglecting who we ACTUALLY are. By doing this, we attract those who we do not align with. We end up seeking out situations and environments that don’t even really speak to who we are and what we stand for. We settle. We settle as if we have an unlimited amount of time to seek what we actually are deserving of (which is some pretty awesome shit by the way.)

So, I’m going to just put this out there – Be a rebel. And if you’re looking for other rebels out there, I can assure you that you already know at least one 💁🏻‍♀️